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"When I die," Lia's eyes flutter open. "-bury me in pink." Abigail stares at her younger sister, the only family Abby has left, her hand combing back the sweaty hair glued to Lia's forehead and her fingers laced between the tiny eight year old's fingers. Abby strokes her color stricken cheek, shaking her head.

"You hate pink," she whispers. "You won't die." Lia interuppts, licking her chapped lips and struggling to prop herself up. Her little body falls back onto the bed. Lia's eyes close.

"And when I die," She says again, taking long breaths between each word. "-bury me with a stuffed penguin." Abby shakes her head again.

"You love dolphins,"

"And when I die," Lia coughs, a trickle of blood slipping down her chin. "-bury me with striped toe socks. Bury me with Almond Joy's and strawberry scented shampoo."

"You hate all of that,"

"But you don't," Lia's voice grows tired, her eyes flutter shut, but her mouth opens just enough for the words to slip out. "Where ever I go," she mutters. "I want you with me." The monitor connected to Lia's body screams a long, ear piercing shrill. Abby, now her own breathing short and spastic, frantically presses the nurses button. A flood of white tennis shoes and blue scrubs spills into the room. Abby falls backward, pushing her thin body against the wall as doctors and nurses swarm around Lia's pale frame. And then, everything is silent. Doctors arms fall to their sides and nurses wheel carts from the room. A young doctor with a prickly beard places a hand on Abby's arm, his eyes glazed.

We couldn't save her.

We did all we could.

The cancer was just too much for her body to handle.

Can I call someone to be with you?

Abby's heard it before. She pulls down her folded up sleeves, gripping the bottom in fists and she walks from the room. The whole hospital is staring at her. They're all whispering to each other. There is the girl who's parents are dead. She's an orphan. She's bad luck. Everyone around her dies.

The elevator dings. Abby steps inside, melting into the silence. She goes down, down, and down until when the elevator opens she sees the hospital front doors. Sunlight streams through the window and the fresh, sweet smell of chocolate chip cookies from the hospitals cafe flitters through the air. Her feet step into the small gift shop, directing herself towards the rack of stuffed animals. She found the smallest little penguin, small enough to rest in the palm of her hand comfortably, then stepped over to hygenics. Her fingers gazed over the different travel sized bottles of shampoo and found strawberry scent and a bottle of raspberry. Her hand grabs blue and purple striped socks, and her other hand picks up fluffy blue ones. On a shelf in the back with small figurines, she finds a glass dolphin and in an aisle over she grabs two candy bars; an almond joy and a milky way. After paying, Abby keeps walking, though, avoiding the gaze of others. She walks out the door, across the parking lot, and when she reaches the main road, she doesn't stop.

"Where ever you go, Lia," she says, all the items clutch in a bag at her side. "I want to be too."

Abby steps out into the rushing traffic, ignoring the deafening car horns and screeching of breaks.





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